ACLS Instructor Essentials Course

How the ACLS Instructor Essentials Course works

The ACLS Instructor Essentials Course is taught in a blended-learning format.  To become an AHA ACLS Instructor, candidates must complete the online portion, followed by the hands-on session, which is classroom based.  The online portion of the course contains both core content and discipline-specific modules to prepare the instructor candidates for the hands-on session. In the classroom, our Faculty will continue preparing instructor candidates to become AHA instructors by focusing on the in-depth material about the ACLS discipline that candidates will be teaching.  The hands-on session includes instruction, practice, and an exam, allowing instructor candidates to successfully use their instructor materials and skills. As a ACLS Instructor, candidates will also be able to teach the following courses:

  • ACLS Initial
  • ACLS Renewal
  • ACLS Heartcode Online and Skills

Who Can Take This Course

The ACLS Instructor Essentials Course is for instructor candidates who have already successfully completed the ACLS Provider Course.

You must be a licensed professional to teach this course! Candidates interested in taking this course must be a licensed or certified healthcare professional with ACLS skills in their scope of practice (examples include: paramedic, MD, RN, NP, PA)

Prerequisites for Instructor Candidates

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a current American Heart Association ACLS Provider course completion card (no other ACLS certifications will be accepted)
  • Be proficient in the skills of ACLS
  • Complete the AHA ACLS Instructor Essentials Course Online
  • Be aligned with an American Heart Association Training Center (Please note:  Superior Life Support does charge an alignment fee that is not included in the cost of this course.)
    • Superior Life Support Instructor Membership*:  $45/mo. or $42o annually *Membership includes American Heart Association (AHA) alignment with Superior Life Support.  All American Heart Association Instructors are required to align with an authorized Training Center like Superior Life Support.

Steps to Become an Instructor

  1. Be accepted by a AHA Training Center (Superior Life Support) by enrolling in an Instructor Course and completing an Instructor Candidate Application with that Training Center.
  2. Have current AHA Provider status in the discipline for that Instructor Essentials course and be proficient in all the skills of that discipline.
  3. Successfully complete the Instructor Essentials Course, including both the online and hands-on session
  4. Successfully be monitored teaching within 6 months of completing the hands-on session of the Instructor Essentials course.
  5. Completing the Course Director Program as outlined by Superior Life Support in the Instructor Essentials Instructor Led Course. Instructors must be signed off as Course Directors by the Training Center Coordinator.

Course Fee:  $599.00

Fee Includes:

  • ACLS Instructor Essentials online course 
  • Classroom instruction/curriculum review
  • Course Director Mentorship
  • 2-year AHA Instructor Certification (upon successful completion of initial monitoring)
  • ACLS Instructor Manual
  • ACLS Provider DVD Set

Additional Course Fees:

  • ACLS Provider Manual (unless previously owned from provider course): $45.50

**The American Heart Association strongly promotes knowledge and proficiency in all AHA courses and has developed instructional materials for this purpose. Use of these materials in an educational course does not represent course sponsorship by the AHA. Any fees charged for such a course, except for a portion of fees needed for AHA course materials, do not represent income to the AHA.**

Course Content

  • Airway management
  • Basic life support skills, including effective chest compressions, use of a bag-mask device and use of an AED
  • Effective communication as a member and leader of a resuscitation team
  • Effective Resuscitation Team Dynamics
  • Management of acute coronary syndromes (ACS) and stroke
  • Recognition and early management of peri-arrest conditions such as symptomatic bradycardia
  • Recognition and early management of respiratory and cardiac arrest
  • Related pharmacology


  • Course uses learning stations for practice of essential skills
  • Simulated clinical scenarios that encourage Active participation
  • Hands-on class format reinforces skills proficiency
  • Classroom-based works well for learners who prefer group interaction and instructor feedback while learning skills

Course Completion Card or Certificate

Upon successful course completion the ACLS Instructor Candidate shall:

  • Submit the AHA ACLS Instructor Essentials online course completion certificate
  • Attend a video based classroom session
  • Perform instructor skills competency in all learning stations
  • Lead instruction during the CPR and AED skills test, bag-mask ventilation skills test and Megacode test
  • Administer the written test
  • Receive an ACLS Instructor card valid for two years.

Course Materials

  • 20-1107 ACLS Instructor Manual (2020 Guidelines)
  • 20-3100  ACLS Provider Manual, includes ACLS Pocket Reference Card Set (2020 Guidelines)


may, 2024